I remember it like it was yesterday.
July 29th, 2010. A hot summer’s evening. A packed room in a trendy pub in Balham, South London. The first ever gig for our then recently formed sketch comedy group, Don’t Trust Salmon.
We were a group of six people then. Four blokes, two women, twelve egos, who had got together a few months earlier with the mad idea of putting together a show to try to make people laugh. And that night – after constant frenetic writing and rehearsing and, to the surprise of some who shall remain nameless – we achieved just that, and then some. The gig was a runaway success, the beer was flowing, and, with just a few minor injuries along the way, a comedy group was born.
A year later, having gone through three ‘parting of company’s’, two further recruitments, then another parting of company (it was a rocky road, that first year), the definitive DTS, featuring Richard Cutayar, James Naylor, Bridget Lambert, and myself, headed to Edinburgh with our debut show, Fin. It went pretty well, all things considered. We had some great audiences, excellent feedback (including from comedy script editor Andrew Ellard) and some really nice 4- and 5-star reviews (and a 2-star, but The List hated everybody that year!). Plus, we made some fantastic comedy circuit friends, and I was even part of an award-winning sketch comedy ‘super group’ called Swagger Jagger. (Featuring Max Olesker, Tom Hensby from Three Englishmen and Matt Ralph from Late Night Gimp Fight). August 2011 was a hell of an experience, and one I won’t forget in a hurry.
But, as they say, all good things come to an end, and I can’t deny feeling a twinge of sadness today to see this on the DTS home page.
It’s true, folks, there is to be no more salmon hating. We are all pursuing other things (I’m not quite sure what I’m pursuing, but I’ve pursued it 300 miles up the M1) and our time together just came to a natural end. But, as the message says, we do all still love each other (some of us rather inappropriately, but I won’t dwell on that here), and I genuinely look forward to seeing or hearing any future rib-ticklers from my ex-colleagues.
In the meantime, I’ll be pursuing whatever it is I end up pursuing, both here and in other places to be announced… Actually, I think applications for Edinburgh 2012 are open aren’t they? I wonder if I can dig out the notes on that one-man show idea I had…